The New Year Digital Clean Out

A checklist to sort through your real and digital life, waving goodbye to another year.

Determine what platforms really count

Not all platforms are created equal. As new platforms emerge, I will admit to always being a late adopter. Not because I am already older than m years, necessarily, but because I am lazy about learning how new platforms work. I am never ahead of the curve on this. However, I have begun to adopt the obvious, as I do genuinely wish to communicate with people that I know.

Check in on your privacy settings

Privacy in this day and age is never straightforward, with everything that has happened on social media (in particular, Facebook) in the last years. The new year is the opportune time to get into your privacy settings and ensure you are only revealing what you want to reveal.

Look over your friends list

It’s a sad truth that the word “friend” really started to morph in meaning after the advent of social media. After all, it’s not really just actual friends that many of us add on to our contact lists — it’s something that happens almost as a matter of course, after talking to anyone for a little while. And in workplaces it is everywhere (especially mine!) — everyone adds each other, even if they never interact in actual life. You vaguely say hello to someone in the kitchen, and the next thing you know you’re “friends” on social media.

Check in on your social boundaries

I’ve begun to make a more conscious distinction between the platforms where I am open to random connections, and those where I am not. This is to do with what I use, and why I use it. By first establishing more firmly where my values lie, I feel more comfortable drawing clearer social boundaries, which helps to mentally ‘check’ my social media use (and how I think and feel about it).

  1. How do you feel after using social media for 10 minutes? Or 1 hour? Or several hours? Take a moment to stop and feel your body: what are the emotions and where in your body do you feel them?

Written by

Trying to live better. Writing on Mental Health, Relationships, and Living Ethically. Editor/Podcaster.

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